The former head of procurement at South African Airways Technical (SAAT), Nontsasa Memela, on Friday told the commission of inquiry into state capture that there was nothing untoward about the payment of R2.5 million that a contractor made towards her property.
Around February 2016, Memela purchased a house in Bedfordview worth R3.8 million and R2.5 million was paid by JM Aviation towards this property, the commission heard.
In 2016, JM Aviation, along with American-based AAR Corporation, scored a R1.2-billion contract to supply components at SAAT for a period of five years.
Earlier in the week, Memela was accused by a witness testifying at the commission of assisting locally-based JM Aviation with its bid documents so that it would score the components supply contract. However, Memela has denied this allegation.
Memela told the commission on Friday that the R2.5 million was actually not paid by JM Aviation but by the company’s director, Vuyo Ndzeku.
She explained that Ndzeku had purchased land in the Eastern Cape owned by her mother and that the arrangement had been that the money Ndzeku paid her mother would be redirected to her house in Bedfordview.
Memela told the commission that her mother had expressed a willingness to assist her with the purchase of property and that she had undertaken to sell the land in the Eastern Cape in order to do this. The agreement between her and her mother was that the money would be a donation, she said.
She told the commission that she is willing to provide documents that show the arrangement between her mother and Ndzeku.
Memela, however, asked what was the link between her purchasing the property and the tenders she was working on at SAAT during the time, including the supply component contract.
The chairperson of the commission, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said this was being probed to determine whether they may have been something improper about the payment when at the time she was the head of procurement at SAAT.
“These questions are just to check there was nothing improper,” Zondo said.
Memela’s testimony continues, watch live courtesy of the SABC: